I’ve spoken to many friends, clients and others over the past few months about the massive amounts of uncertainty we’re facing.
It seems that for so many of us, big decisions we would have made had it not been for the pandemic, have been put on hold.
I’ve heard things like:
- “I want to move out of the city… but I just don’t know what’s going to happen… so I’ll wait till I know what’s going to happen.”
- “I want to change careers… but I just don’t know what’s going to happen in the world… so I’ll wait and see.”
- “I’m not happy in my relationship …. But I just don’t know what to do about it now with all the other uncertainty, too…”
It can be such an uncomfortable place, the “staging area” … where we’re not sure when the wait will be over.
Yes, the world has changed in unimaginable ways in a few months.
Even though I have done loads of tapping (EFT) by myself, in groups, and with clients, I still sometimes think “No, darnit – I don’t want it to be like this! I’m not willing for the world to be like this!! It cannot have happened!! It’s not right! This is ridiculous, I want it to go back the way it was!”
And then, a little voice reminds me of two important things:
1. We didn’t have certainty to begin with.
We’ve been living in an uncertain world for a long time. It may be that we’ve had the illusion of certainty in the past. The difference now is that it’s increasingly apparent how little control we have.
In the past, even if we DID make the decision to change jobs, we did not know either whether we’d get a new job, or be alive by the time the first day of it rolled around. Any of a vast number of things could have prevented us from starting at the new place. Illness (ourselves or family), a natural disaster, an accident…. The proverbial bus could have run us over.
Yet, we had the illusion that if we made that decision, it would have a certain outcome.
Now, post-pandemic, we’re faced with many new apparent layers of uncertainty:
- Will the virus ever really go away?
- Will I have to go to work with a mask forever?
- Will there be an economic collapse?
- Will there be another worldwide depression?
- Will my savings last?
- Will I (or my family) die or get really ill from the virus?
- Will I ever see my family again, halfway across the world?
There is so much extra uncertainty and many big questions to contend with now. It can feel like an overload to deal with.
Yet, all the previous things we so easily decided had an undercurrent of uncertainty too. We ignored it and went about life anyway.
2. Much of our suffering comes from resisting what is happening.
It’s not only what happens, but how we perceive it, (what we make it mean) and therefore how we feel about an event, that causes the suffering. It’s not only the event itself (a pandemic, an illness, a job loss) that causes the inner pain… it’s also our attitude towards it.
Much of our attitude usually revolves around “I don’t want this to be happening. This can’t be happening. I don’t want it to be this way. I am not going to accept this. There must be a different way. I can fix this! If I try (resist) harder, I can make it go away.”
In each one of the above sentences, we’re resisting ‘reality’. It’s in quotes, because reality is subjective. Your reality is very different from mine.
Much of our suffering about an event or circumstances disappear if we can accept the way things are (for now).
Can you feel into that? How much easier it is to ‘be with’ something if we don’t resist it with all our might?
Tapping for more ease around it
A way I’ve been getting to more acceptance these days (though of course I’m human and I keep finding places where I haven’t accepted things yet!) is to tap like this:
“Even though I have all these pandemic-fears, I can accept that this is what’s happening, and these are my feelings about it.”
And then one round on “all these pandemic fears”.
Instead of the “I love and accept myself anyway” (which is the usual EFT self-acceptance phrase built into the setup-statement, we build acceptance of the situation into it.
It seems to shift my feelings and suffering around a situation very, very fast. I’ve used it with clients and myself in the last week and have found it incredibly effective to shift the feelings and stuck-ness fast.
(A big Thank you to my friend Bennie Naude who introduced me to this!)
So maybe we can all tap together like this:
Measure how much you want to the world to go back to normal, on a scale of 0-10. (0 = it’s okay the way it is, 10 = I want it to go back to normal!)
Side of Hand: “Even though I have this resistance to how the world has changed, I can accept that it’s happened, and this is how I feel.”
Top of Head: this change-resistance
Inner Eyebrow: this change-resistance
Side of Eye: this change-resistance
Under Eye: this change-resistance
Under Nose: this change-resistance
Chin: this change-resistance
Collarbone: this change-resistance
Under Arm: this change-resistance
Take a deep breath in and out. Measure the resistance again. If it’s still there, do another round in the same way and use “this remaining change-resistance”.
Why accept it?
You might be surprised how quickly it can shift. When we’re able to accept things the way they are, we feel better, we can think better, and then we can act in more resourceful and wise ways.
When we accept things the way they are (or the way they already happened), it doesn’t mean we condone it or think it’s great.
The acceptance stops us from pushing against something. Resisting puts us into the fight-flight-freeze mode.
With acceptance, there’s more energy available for healing (rest and digest), and creating something new out of uncertainty and chaos.
Let me know how you go with this. I’d love to hear.
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.